Fresh U.S. tariffs on China likely to weaken oil demand further: BofA

(Reuters) – The latest round of U.S. tariffs on China could weaken global oil demand and could also push Beijing to buy Iranian oil as a retaliation and lower global benchmark Brent crude prices by as much as $20-$30 per barrel, Bank Of America Merill Lynch said on Friday. “Global oil consumption growth is running at the weakest levels in nearly a decade … Protectionism has taken a big toll on global industrial activity. We estimate that the latest round of U.S. tariffs on China could weaken global oil demand by an additional 250 to 500 thousand barrels per day,” BofA analysts said in a note. Also, a decision by China to reinitiate Iran crude purchases could send oil prices into a tailspin, the bank added. “In the extreme, a combination of weaker demand and the return of up to 1.5 million bpd of Iran oil would weaken our balances by up to 2 million bpd,” BofA said. Brent futures were trading about 3% higher at above $62 a barrel on Friday, after slumping more than 7% on Thursday, their steepest drop in more than three years after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose additional tariffs Chinese imports… continue reading

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